Google fights Android fragmentation: Partners with carriers and OEMs to guarantee updates

Google just announced  during the Google IO keynote that it has partnered with OEMs and carriers to fight fragmentation and guarantee updates. This is probably the most important news of this year’s Google IO conference (IMO). The OEMs and Carriers seen above will guarantee timely updates to the latest version of the OS for a period of 18 months after a device is released (if the device’s hardware allows it).

Update: Unfortunately, Andy Rubin, who was questioned about this matter during the post-keynote Q&A session, said that nothing is set in stone yet. It is now starting to look like this announcement was nothing more than a PR move to create some buzz. The full details of this new “update guarantee” have yet to be finalized between all the partners

Android 2.4 Ice Cream Sandwich to probably be announced next week

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Mango buzz is about to fade out a little bit next week when Google will most probably announce the newest version of Android for smartphones code named Ice Cream Sandwich aka Android 2.4 during the Google I/O conference (May 10 – 11) . This newest version is expected to include most of the new features introduced in Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb and adapt them for the smartphone form factor (remember that Honeycomb is exclusive to tablets) and feature integration with Google’s new music streaming cloud platform.

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Android 2.4 aka Ice Cream Sandwich coming out this summer

The next iteration of google smartphone OS is supposedly being code-named Ice Cream Sandwich and should logically be ready in time for a summer release ( Ice Cream sort off hits at a summer release). This obviously means that you won’t see it being pushed as an update to eligible handset before next fall if history is any indication. As you probably know by now, Android 3.0 is strictly aimed and Tablets for the time being to the poor smartphones will apparently only get  an small update in the form of Android 2.4 instead. It will really be interesting to see how Google manages this whole eco-system fragmentation now that they will have essentially two different versions of the same OS with vastly different UI structures pushed out at nearly the same time.

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